When Robert Rodriguez directed his debut film, El Mariachi, in 1992, he didn’t have the kind of studio backing or private investors that his buddy Quentin Tarantino had. Instead, he had $7,000 dollars and a dream. Since then, Rodriguez has been inspiring other directors to do the same, setting up his “Rebel Without a Crew” series where new filmmakers shoot feature films for the same price tag as Rodriguez’s classic. This year’s competitors include Scarlet Moreno, Alejandro Montoya Marin, Bola Ogun, Bonnie-Kathleen Ryan, and Josh Stifter, but it’s been reported that Rodriguez himself will join in the competition to see if he’s still able to make a movie like the one he did more than two decades ago.
The rules are pretty simple: each director gets seven grand to make their movie with no crew. They’ve got two weeks to shoot their features, and the process will be documented in an upcoming reality show called Rebel Without a Crew, which is set to air on Verizon’s go90 service as well as Rodriguez’s own El Rey television network. The new show comes right in the middle of Rodriguez’s most prolific period. Having just made the film 100 Years, which was locked in a bulletproof vault that can’t be opened until 2115. Additionally, Rodriguez is also working on a film called Alita: Battle Angel adapted from a manga by Yukito Kishiro and a screenplay by none other than James Cameron.
El Mariachi currently holds the world record for lowest-budgeted film to gross over $1 million dollars, and was inducted into the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” It’s unlikely any of the directors competing in Rebel Without a Crew will make anything that important, but we’re looking forward to seeing what this motley crew of directors can come up with in just two weeks of shooting, no crew, and almost no money.
Images: Open Road, El Rey